When one watches a video by illustrator Patrick Vale, documenting in time lapse the incredibly detailed line drawings he makes of New York City’s skyline, the sense of the city’s architectural diversity as a whole emerges. Much like its people, the city is put together with a sense of both planning and randomness. Individually, some buildings may not be very aesthetic, but as a whole it becomes the collective of what makes it a dynamic place to live. The question for planners and architects is how to maintain that diversity of architectural design while also pushing forward development at a pace that can sustain the people who want to live here.

For the drawing Colussus, Vale spent an afternoon “on top of a very tall building in New York. The view was jaw dropping,” he writes on his website. In fact, it was the view from the top of Rockefeller Center.

He doesn’t draw from memory, he takes notes, photographs and video. As he tells the Daily Mail, “for me working with the video was the most important as it really brought the city to life.” Returning to his studio, Colossus took four weeks to create, and only one pen.

In the drawing, you can see the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Bank of America Tower at Bryant Park, Pan Am Building above Grand Central Terminal. Here are some detail crops of the drawing:

h/t Colossal. Check out more NYC line illustrations by our very own Downtown Doodler.